MILAN — Model management company Elite World announced the name of the winners of its annual Elite Model Look contest during the grand final hosted in Milan on Wednesday. Last year, the final was hosted in Lisbon.
Russian model Valeria Chenskaya, 15, and Brazilian talent Antonio Freitas, 17, were named overall winners of the 34th edition of the modeling contest by a committee of Elite agents and a jury chaired by company’s president Vick Mihaci and comprising designer Lorenzo Serafini, fashion photographer Giampaolo Sgura and models Mark Vanderloo, Tony Ward and Natasa Vojnovic.
As part of the prize, Chenskaya and Freitas will receive contracts worth 150,000 euros and 50,000 euros, respectively.
Hailing from 36 countries, 63 contestants — 34 women and 29 men — were in the grand final, which draw an audience of 1,500 people at the city’s MiCo Fiera Congressi venue. The event showcased the candidates walking on the runway multiple times, in addition to featuring dancing routines and live music performances from French DJs Ofenbach and pop duo AaRON.
During the final, the jury also awarded other 13 contestants, electing the competition’s top 15 winners. The 10 girls and five boys elected, including Chenskaya and Freitas, will receive a two-year contract with Elite worth 50,000 euros and 20,000 euros for female and male talents, respectively.
Before hitting the final, the 63 international candidates took part in a six-day model boot camp in the city, attending a range of masterclasses with Elite agents and industry professionals to prepare themselves for the show. Photographers, catwalk coaches and hair and makeup artists have mentored the finalists through photo shoots, catwalk training and individual interviews.
The scouting process for the contest began in early spring with hundreds of castings held by the company around the world, while thousands more candidates applied through Facebook.
Former Elite Model Look contestants include Cindy Crawford, Gisele Bündchen, Alessandra Ambrosio, Constance Jablonski, Fei Fei Sun, Ming Xi and, in recent years, Vittoria Ceretti and Greta Varlese. These last two were among the guests attending the final event in Milan.
Founded in Paris in 1972, Elite counts more than 30 agencies worldwide. The agency propelled the careers of talents such as Linda Evangelista, Helena Christensen, Cara Delevingne, Kendall Jenner, Adriana Lima, Behati Prinsloo, Lindsey Wixson, Caroline Trentini and Magdalena Frackowiak, among others. Through its international men’s divisions, Elite World also represents male models including Noah Mills, Arthur Kulkov, Garrett Neff, Tobias Sorensen and Marlon Teixeira.